Andrew Hilton

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Andrew Piers Marsden Hilton (born 21 October 1947) is an English actor, theatre director and author, best known for the creation of the Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory company in Bristol in 1999. He remains its Artistic Director.[1]

Background and education[edit]

Hilton was born in Bolton, Lancashire, and educated at Bolton School. He read English at Churchill College, Cambridge, studying under George Steiner and Michael Long. He worked as a student actor for Jonathan Miller (in the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet and Julius Caesar) and via that connection entered the professional theatre as a trainee director at Bernard Miles' Mermaid Theatre in London. There he worked from 1971 to 1975, much of his time directing and writing plays about science for the theatre's educational wing, the Molecule Theatre. He became a Mermaid Associate Director in 1974.

In 1975 he joined the Greenwich Company as an actor for Jonathan Miller's productions of Measure for Measure and All's Well that Ends Well, quickly followed by a 3-year contract with the National Theatre, beginning at the London Old Vic and moving to the new complex on the South Bank. There he appeared in the Peter Hall/Albert Finney Hamlet and Tamburlaine the Great, the John Schlesinger/John Gielgud Julius Caesar, Elijah Moshinky's production of Troilus & Cressida (as Diomedes), and Michael Blakemore's production of Ben Travers’ Plunder.

He then joined the Bristol Old Vic company in 1978, where he played in over twenty productions, roles including Haig and the Sergeant-Major in Oh What a Lovely War!, Flavius in Timon of Athens, Kershaw in Destiny, Ernst in Cabaret and Wyke in Sleuth. It was there in 1983 that he met his wife-to-be, the stage manager and artist, Diana Favell. There followed several years of TV and radio work, interspersed with theatre jobs in Manchester and York, a UK tour of The Royal Hunt of the Sun and a British Council tour of the Far and Middle East.

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory[edit]

In 1989 Hilton and Favell joined a group of actors, writers and directors to start the first regular pub theatre in Bristol, dedicated largely to new writing. The company, Show of Strength Theatre Company, found the Hen & Chicken pub in the south of the city, in Bedminster, and inaugurated winter seasons there that were to last for six years and attract national attention.

Hilton directed six productions for the company - the world premières of Tales of the Undead by Dominic Power, and Let's Do It and Rough Music by James Wilson; the UK premiere of Michael Gow's Away; the English professional première of Brian Friel's Living Quarters; and an in-the-round production of Measure for Measure. In 1998, after Hilton and Favell had both left the company, Show of Strength moved its operation to the Tobacco Factory - then in process of restoration and redevelopment by George Ferguson - and it was this that inspired them to create 'Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory[2] in 1999.

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (SATTF) began as a commercial venture and survived as such for five spring seasons at the Tobacco Factory Theatre, winning a Peter Brook/Empty Space Award in 2001[2] and culminating in the transfer of the 2004 season of Macbeth and The Changeling to the Barbican' s Pit Theatre. The company was then reformed as a charity, as it now continues. In addition to spring seasons at the Factory it has co-produced with the Bristol Old Vic, and toured to The Galway Festival, the Exeter Northcott and the Kingston Rose. A more extensive UK tour is scheduled for 2013.

While Shakespeare has clearly been his main focus, Hilton has attracted high praise for his three Chekhov productions: Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard. In most of his work Hilton works in collaboration with the playwright, Dominic Power,[3] who edits Shakespeare with him and has also contributed new scenes to Measure for Measure, The Changeling and The Taming of the Shrew. He has also enjoyed longstanding collaborations with the designer Harriet de Winton,[4] the composer John Telfer and the composer & sound designers Elizabeth Purnell[5] and Dan Jones.

Productions[edit]

Tales of the Undead by Dominic Power (Show of Strength 1989)

Let's Do It by James Wilson (Show of Strength 1990)

Living Quarters by Brian Friel (Show of Strength 1991)

Measure for Measure by Shakespeare (Show of Strength 1992)

Away by Michael Gow's (Show of Strength 1993)

Serious Money by Caryl Churchill (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School 1996)

Rough Music by James Wilson (Show of Strength 1996)

King Lear[6] and A Midsummer Night's Dream (2000)[7] (SATTF 2000)

Measure for Measure[8] and Coriolanus[9] (SATTF 2001 - Peter Brook/Empty Space Award))

The Winter's Tale'[10]' and Twelfth Night[11] (SATTF 2002)

Troilus & Cressida[12] and As You Like It[13] (SATTF 2003)

Macbeth[14] and Middleton & Rowley's The Changeling[15] (SATTF 2004 at the Tobacco Factory and the Barbican Pit)

Pericles[16] and Chekhov's Three Sisters[17] (SATTF 2005)

Titus Andronicus[18] and Love's Labours Lost[19] (SATTF 2006)

Othello[20] and Much Ado about Nothing[21] (SATTF 2007)

The Taming of the Shrew'[22]' (SATTF 2008)

Julius Caesar[23] and Antony & Cleopatra[24] (SATTF 2009)

Chekhov's Uncle Vanya[25] (SATTF/ Bristol Old Vic Co-production, Theatre Royal, 2009, and Galway Festival 2010)

The Tempest[26] and A Midsummer Night's Dream[27] (SATTF 2010)

Molière/Tony Harrison's The Misanthrope[28] (SATTF/Bristol Old Vic Co-production, Theatre Royal, 2010)

Richard II[29] (SATTF 2011)

The Comedy of Errors[30] (SATTF and Exeter Northcott, 2011)

King Lear[31] (SATTF 2012)

Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard[32] (SATTF and Kingston Rose 2012)

Richard III[33] and Two Gentlemen of Verona[34] (SATTF 2013)

Authorship[edit]

Sparks! (Mermaid Theatre and UK tour 1974; revived 1975, 1977, 1979, 1982)

It's Not What It Seems (BBC Schools Radio 1975)

Ten (BBC Schools Radio 1976)

Transcontinental - Governor Stanford (BBC Schools Radio 1977)

The Patent-Office Robbery (Mermaid Theatre and UK tour 1978; revived 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)

Fire Island (Mermaid Theatre and UK Tour 1984; revived 1985)

Chekov's Gun (BBC Radio 3 Talk in The Essay Series, 2009)

Hilton is a Patron of Warwick’s Shakespeare Young Company, and of the Bridge Foundation for Psychotherapy and the Arts. In 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Bristol for his services to theatre in the City. He teaches freelance at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Company Profile: Andrew Hilton". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "SATTF Company History". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Company Profiles: Dominic Power". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Company Profiles: Harriet De Winton". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Company Profiles: Liz Purnell". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Past Productions: Coriolanus". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Past Productions: Macbeth". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Past Productions: Pericles". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Past Productions: Love's Labour's Lost". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Past Productions: Othello". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  24. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". 
  26. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  27. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  28. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  31. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  32. ^ "Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory: Past Productions". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  33. ^ "Current Productions: Richard III". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  34. ^ "Current Productions: Two Gentlemen of Verona". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 

External links[edit]